Best of C+S 2013: Paula Deen’s Wedding Empire

Well friends, it’s the last day of 2013 — which is weird, because 2013 still sounds like the future, right? Today there will be a lot of lists and shows looking back on the year that was, and Paula Deen will probably be on there. Yeah. Remember that mess? She made some comments about an antebellum wedding and the rest is history (I’d say racist history, but that would probably be redundant).

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Racist Weddings With Paula Deen

Originally Posted on June 24

So Paula Deen is a racist. She’s that extra-bad kind of racist, too. She’s the kind that thinks because she doesn’t say she hates black people, and doesn’t wish ill on people of color, then she’s not really racist.

Racist Paula Deen planned a Racist Wedding. At Paula Deen’s Racist Wedding, slaves middle-aged black men would serve the guests in order to evoke a time in the South’s past. A time “before, during, or after the Civil War,” according to Paula Deen (isn’t that just ANY TIME?, I wondered). I think she meant the time when slavery was legal, the time during the war to make slavery illegal, and that whole messy Jim Crow/reconstruction business where things were still really bad.

By the way, Paula didn’t refer to these waiters as… you know, THAT word, because they were “professional black men.” First of all, since slaves didn’t get paid, weren’t they the opposite of professionals? Second, I don’t know how you become a professional black man. I think I might only know amateur black men.

I was so disappointed by this. I mean, why stop there, Paula? I think she could have a new show or maybe pen a book on the racist wedding theme. Antebellum Slave Wedding? Okay. But you KNOW you have some more racist wedding ideas in that buttery little head of yours, Paula. Here, let me help:

“Red Injun” Wedding

* The walk down the aisle will be re-named the “trail of tears.”

* Everyone gets an “Indian Name!” So fun.

* Plus, if you meet someone really cool at the wedding you will declare them your “spirit animal.”

* First dance? “Colors of the Wind.”

* It is an adults-only reception. All children will be swept away to boarding schools to be re-educated in the ways of the white man.

* All wait staff will be Native American. Guests are encouraged to share stories about how ”my great, great grandmother was 1/8 Cherokee Princess.”

* The dancing portion will be called a pow-wow.

* White hipster guests will be able to take the “authentic” native headdresses off of all of the waiters, so that they can wear them to outdoor music festivals.

*If you have the cash-money for celebrity entertainment: Johnny Depp as Tonto.

* Fry bread. Definitely fry bread. But with little butter pockets in there, because butter.

* Waiters will be told that they will be fairly compensated, but will actually be paid in Smallpox Blankets.

* The bride and groom will sign a contract with the wedding facility that stipulates that the party can go until 11pm. Then, when it’s time to leave, they’ll be like “okay, we DISCOVERED this reception hall so we’re just going to keep it.” And the owners will be like “nah, we were already here, I mean we kind of built the whole thing.” And the happy couple will be like “whatever, enjoy all your SMALLPOX.”

Exotic Asian Wedding

* All of the waitresses will be dressed as geishas. They will be small Asian women who are not necessarily of Japanese descent, because do you seriously think that Paula Deen’s racist wedding guests can tell? Paula Deen’s racist wedding guests probably barely know that there are different countries in Asia, they just think it’s an amorphous, spicy landmass called “The Orient.”

* Also all of these waitresses will be referred to as “Oriental.”

* Fortune cookies! Everyone will read theirs out loud then add “in bed” to the end of it. That’s not even racist, it’s just a fun party game.

* Male waiters or cooks will be white men doing racist Asian impressions a la Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

* Fried rice. Definitely fried rice. Wait. Can you deep-fry rice? Maybe that.

* When it comes time to pay, the hosts will encourage the Asian staff to figure out the tab because “you people are always so good at Math!”

Secret Annex Wedding

– Upon entering the reception, some guests will be provided with these really cute identifying patches that they will have to wear at all times (Star of David, purple triangle, what have you).

– Swing music! So ’40s.

– At the beginning of the wedding, all guests will have the same privileges. Restrictions will incrementally be added to the patch-wearing guests. First they will be unable to access the cake table, then they will be barred from dancing on the main dance floor.

– After a point, these guests will be forced to hide in an attic above the reception. They will have to be utterly still and silent “just like in the old days!”.

– Waitresses attending to these guests will be referred to as “Miep Gieses.”

Tenement Wedding

– This wedding package is perfect if you’re the right kind of white person (read: Protestant Anglo-Saxons of means)! As you walk down that aisle and into your new life, you can walk right back into the past – when you could rest assured that you’re the social better of even most other white people.

– The wedding will be “cozy.’ By that I mean each pew will be at double or triple occupancy.

– There will be one small, cramped shared bathroom for all guests.

– The entry to the ceremony will be called “Ellis Island.” And it’s going to be so adorable, oh my goodness. The ushers will inspect you for medical conditions and may arbitrarily send you back, but no big deal, I’m sure you’ll find a way home if that happens! Also if your name is hard to spell or pronounce, that’s silly but we’ll fix it for you.

– The ceremony will take place at a Protestant church, because this is America and we don’t worship the Pope here, thank you.

– All servers and staff will be inspected before they leave to make sure they’re not stealing anything. If there’s a fire, guests will get out just fine because we’ll lock the workers in! Otherwise they’d probably steal stuff.

– No Irish Need Apply.

Modern American Wedding

– Not nostalgic? No problem! Paula Deen will make sure that your fav features of modern America are all reflected in your nuptials

–  We’re going to let Black men go to this one. But if you drive there, you’ll probably get pulled over on the way in. Paula Deen’s just trying to keep all y’all safe!

– Dinner will be served buffet-style. However, women’s plates will be 75% the size of men’s. It’s already a racist wedding, we don’t want to get all wacky with equality and stuff. Who knows where that could lead?

– If you fall anywhere on the brown spectrum, color-wise, please carry identification with you as you may have to prove citizenship at any time.

– The guests with the top 1% of the income may occupy 40% of the dance floor. Don’t worry, most of them will be white.

– Macaroni and cheese bar! Yum.

– I can’t believe I even have to tell you this, but a Paula Deen Modern American Wedding is a one man – one woman affair.

– Probably there’ll be muzak during dinner, then soft rock during the dancing portion. You know Delilah, the inoffensive  syndicated host on radio stations that middle-aged ladies sometimes like? She’s the DJ.

– Cute idea: you could have “food deserts” where your less-affluent guests will have to go really, really far to get any of your more fresh and delicious dishes. But right at their tables you could give them some stuff with sodium and preservatives all up in it!

– A Paula Deen Modern American Wedding is not handicap-accessible.

Please note that all of these ideas can be performed as a bar mitzvah instead. However, that probably means that you’re Jewish, and Paula Deen WILL make a joke about that and levy anti-Semitic slurs at you.

Best of C+S 2013: Neon Dreams, Lisa Frank Nightmares

On Friday, we roasted 90s fashion, but let’s not fool ourselves — they were the best decade ever. And yet … kind of disturbing as well? Case in point: Lisa Frank. At first it’s all tap-dancing teddy bears and neon dolphins, and before you know it you have a trapper-keeper featuring a bikini-clad watermelon with visible innards.

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15 Disturbing Lisa Frank Designs That Are Deceivingly Awesome

Originally Posted on May 3 

Like many young girls growing up in the U.S. between the years of 1990-2000, I fell into the trap that is Lisa Frank. The out of this world designs, the use of every color in the spectrum, the need to have all the stickers, trapper keepers, notebooks and folders money could buy! I wanted it all!

But looking back, and taking a deeper look into the Lisa Frank portfolio, I’ve noticed that these are some pretty trippy designs – like I wouldn’t be surprised if Lisa herself was on shrooms or something while coming up with this stuff. Yet all of it was genius, and she made millions – and is still making millions – on a new generation of kids eating this stuff up, and the generation like ours, just looking for a sense of nostalgia.

Here are just some of designs that upon further inspection, are actually disturbing, politically incorrect, or just ridiculously weird.

The watermelon is wearing a bikini, yet her insides are still showing.

Aliens need love and platform shoes too.

My cats hang out in my pink high tops all the time too.

#Equality

Were insects a thing that girls were into? Like they’re not even cartoony.

A cute cat angel or Lisa Frank’s subtle message about life after death?

Jaws on acid.

Bitch, I’m fabulous.

Just because they’re golden labs playing in their own sandcastle doesn’t mean they’re American. Check out the flag, racists. Viva Mexico!

Bears can’t do splits.

Just… everything about this gypsy pig is disturbing.

This polar bear is getting a little too close to the Eskimo chick for my liking.

And now she’s with the husky? Polar bear is on to you, son.

Just explain this one to me.

No comment.

Best of C+S 2013: Totally Radical 90s Style

To close out Week One of our “best of” posts, we’d like to remind you that none of us looked cool in the 90s. Sure, those teenage tumblr-ers and youtube-ies will try to tell you that we all looked super stylish. However, they weren’t there, they don’t understand, and for half a decade, all of our butts looked like ice-cream cones.

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90s Fashion Myths vs. Realities

Originally Posted on October 8

Listen, young ladies on tumblr. You’re all into the 90s look, and that’s great, I suppose. I mean, from my perspective it’s the very definition of not great, because it means that I am now old enough to have worn a “vintage” trend the first time around, but bully for you.

Here’s the deal, though. You’re getting it wrong. Your romanticized version of the 90s is super cute, but that’s not how it was. It was awkward, frumpy, and all around unfortunate. Our shirts were too wide and short by a good stretch. Our jeans made us look ice cream cone-shaped. Regardless of season or latitude, everyone was dressed for a Seattle winter. Inspired by our live blog of Hocus Pocus, I present a fashion companion to all you tumblr girls who were born after the early 90s: You Weren’t There, You Wouldn’t Understand

Jeans

Myth:

Everyone wore distressed, slouchy “boyfriend” pants or sleek, high-waisted, taper-legged denim.

Reality:

Yeah. Our waists were high all right. But do you know what lay between the high waist and the tapered ankle? A foot-long butt. While the modern iteration of these pants has a slim fit, there was no “skinny’ in 90s jeans. Rather, there was a ton of fabric, so that your frame would blossom out after your waist, only to end in a vice grip around your ankles. We all looked like gorgeous ice cream cones.

In terms of denim, the acid wash and stone wash we wore had NOTHING in common with today’s distressed denim. It looked almost like the cover of a marble composition notebook. We didn’t do subtlety very well back then. And if you weren’t wearing that – and this never shows up on your tumblrs – you were wearing super-bright, almost indigo blue denim.

Flannel

Myth:

We all wore big, cozy flannel shirts a la Kurt Cobain or – let’s be real – Angela Chase.

Reality:

Well, we did… kind of. I remember being so excited in second grade to get a slouchy flannel for Christmas – so I could look like Cory Matthews. So, I want you to think less Nirvana and more TGIF. Most of us didn’t look like angsty grunge musicians, we looked like honor roll kids from nice families who were trying to stay comfy.

Leggings

Myth:

Underneath our Seattle flannels or stylish tunic tops, we showed off our toned, aerobicized legs in leggings, topped off with Doc Martins.

Reality:

Every kind of pants in the 90s made you look like you were wearing diapers. I think leggings had a little less elastic then, plus most of the ones we had were stirrup leggings. Yeah. In the 90s, stirrups weren’t just for horseback riding and your gyno’s office. So, pants were well secured at the waist and ankles, and kind of saggy and sad in between. On our feet? Keds.

Hair

Myth:

Our hair fell in long, devil-may-care waves and curls, kind of like Lorde.

Reality:

Those big 80s bangs didn’t really die until the mid-90s. We didn’t wear loose waves, we wore spiral perms. If you wanted to look really polished, you probably had The Rachel, and if you wanted to look really professional, you had Princess Diana’s haircut. In the late 90s, we didn’t wear long, subtle side bangs like all of you kids. We had light fringes that we painstakingly curled under with round brushes, so your forehead was under a protective hair-dome. There was a lot of half-up, half-down happening. Lots of claw clips. Scrunchies. Seasonal scrunchies, classy scrunchies, denim scrunchies. One of the first times I remember getting a big laugh in a crowded room, I was about 5 and was making up a commercial for scrunchies at Thanksgiving with my extended fam. “Scrunchies! Because real bracelets are for snobs! Scrunchies! Because you could put it in your hair later, maybe!” (See, the whole thing with scrunchies was that they just ended up on everyone’s wrists).

Businesswear

Myth:

The woman of the 90s wore a lot of power pieces – be it menswear-inspired suspenders, or tiny suits a la Ally McBeal.

Reality:

The woman of the 90s wore a lot of shoulder pads – it wasn’t just the 80s. She’s also responsible for that thing where you wear big, ugly sneakers with business clothes in order to go power walking. 90s women wore a ton of horrible flat-front khakis. The Adult Jumper was going strong, and not just for teachers.

Neon

Myth:

Totally radical!

Reality:

Totally dopey.

Riot Grrl

Myth:

We wore baby doll dresses as a subtle critique of the infatilization of adult women – ditto for those baby barrettes. These were paired with heavy, down-to-business boots. Zines as far as the eye can see.

Reality:

Sure. We all wore baby doll dresses with baby barrettes and boots — because Stephanie Tanner did. I’m sure it was different if you were in high school or college, but if you were a kid in the 90s you probably weren’t wearing these fashions to fight the patriarchy with Kathleen Hanna and Courtney Love. You just wanted to look like people on TV.

Music

Myth:

While we wore our sweet tumblr-y fashions, we listened to the latest indie tunes from mix tapes that we ordered from the back of a zine.

Reality:

Celine Dion. Natalie Merchant. A lot of pseudo-intellectualism: “tell me all your thoughts on God,” e.g. Harmonicas without irony. Actually, everything without irony. That’s what separates real 90s style from the (admittedly better) 2010s revival, and the best thing about the decade: we really, earnestly meant all of this.

Best of C+S 2013: The Only Child Club

It’s December 26, and many of you have just celebrated Christmas with all of your siblings. Or maybe – like Traci – you’re an only child. Don’t let the non-onlies get you down — there are some serious life lessons to glean from the only child life.

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Life Lessons From an Only Child

(originally posted March 29)

Being an only child has taught me a lot of things throughout my life, mostly that there a lot of assumptions people make if they know you’re an only child. But I’m here to break the stereotypes and tell you the truth about being the only kid in the family. I would like to reiterate that I’m not speaking on behalf of the Only Children of America coalition (not a real thing), but I’d say this is pretty accurate.

1) We’re very independent

Sisters are doin’ it for themselves. Or brothers, whatever. In sixth grade, I had dance lessons that started at 4pm, which was before my parents got out of work. So on the days I had dance, I would take the bus home, be by myself for about an hour or so, then my friend’s mom would pick me up and we’d go to class. I mean I was 11 years old, but at the same time, there was no one else around to make sure I wasn’t like, lighting anything on fire. But I was given the responsibility of having keys to the house, knowing how to turn off the alarm system, make food if need be. If something went wrong, I had to figure it out and fix it myself. If anything, this is what has stuck with me the most. I’ve never really relied on anyone to do anything for me, because I know I can (usually) do it myself.

2) We’re okay with being alone

Ok, that sentence isn’t supposed to be read with the same kind of depression you read it with. But along the same notion of being independent, so does time in solitary (again, not meant to be weird and prison-y). After my parents trusted me with being at home by myself, it wasn’t necessary for them to have anyone look after me. So if they went out, I was by myself in the house. I would like to add that I didn’t really have friends or family members that lived nearby, so again, I was just used to being alone. Without a sibling, I was used to doing stuff by myself, which is still true to this day, mainly because it’s all I know. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I hate being around people. I mean for the most part that’s true because I hate people (my years working retail is to thank for that complex). But I mean only children usually tend to gravitate towards extended family or in my case, my friends, to hang out with all the time. So just as much as we like being alone, we like being around people. But we also need our personal space at the same time. Yeah, we’re crazy.

3) We can do weird shit

My friend Caitlin and I call this the ‘Only Child Syndrome’, because we end up doing random weird things that we don’t realize we’re A) doing in the first place or B) is even weird at all. I don’t even really know how to explain this besides doing like odd little movements or noises or giving strange looks… No one was around to call us out on being weird, so that explains why we’re still weird now. I also tend to talk to myself a lot – like out loud. I assume kids with siblings would usually have a brother or sister to at least be around when you’re saying something, and it’s not as weird as talking outloud and knowing no one ever hears you.

4) We don’t actually like being only children

Okay, I may be speaking for myself here, but I honestly don’t really like being an only child. Like I said, I didn’t have any family members – cousins, etc. living near me growing up. They were/are all in the Philippines, and some here in LA. But what’s weird is that my dad is one of 9 kids. I have a bunch of cousins and second cousins, some of whom I don’t even know. But they all grew up together and I was the American kid. When we go back to the Philippines, I always feel like the odd man out, not only because of the language barrier and cultural differences, but because they all have the advantage of hanging out with each other, while I had my parents and me, myself and I. I’m just saying it would have been much easier to have a sibling when going back to the Phil. Also, I could never blame anything I did wrong on a sibling, or bitch about my parents to someone who would really understand.

5) We’re not all spoiled

So this is obviously the most common only child stereotype. All my friends who are only children are not spoiled by any means. Well, in the sense that they don’t want everything in the world and expect their parents to buy it for them. Many people believe that we’re naturally born brats who expect to be doted on all the time, but that’s far from the case. In fact, I know some people like that who do have siblings, and it’s embarrassing. But like, I’ve never expected my parents to get me everything I’ve ever wanted. I will say that they have done the thing where if I’ll mention my DVD player is broken, they’ll call me back 2 days later and say we found a blu-ray player, and bought it for you, you can pick it up at Best Buy sort of thing (that’s a true story). We don’t act spoiled, but once in a while, we’ll get spoiled.

Best of C+S 2013: Say Hello To Your Friends – Baby-Sitters Club!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, FRIENDS!!! Hope you’re enjoying the holiday today (if you celebrate it). In the event you get a little down time from unwrapping gifts and eating, please enjoy our gift to you, in the form of a (yet to be produced) musical from a popular 90s young adult series. It’s really the gift that keeps on giving, folks. Yay Santa!

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The Baby-Sitters Club: The Musical — Excerpts From The Libretto

{originally posted January 17th}

If I know one thing that sells these days, it’s nostalgia. And if I know two things that sell these days, they’re nostalgia, and making musicals out of things that were never intended to be musicals. While I haven’t exactly worked out the whole thing, here are some song titles and sample lyrics from my smash hit in the making, The Baby-Sitters Club: The Musical.

The Chapter Where We Find Out About Everyone: This number is narrated by the Greek Chorus, which is comprised of three ladies dressed as Ann M. Martin, Beverly Cleary, and Francine Pascal (read: three women in cardigans with glasses and sensible haircuts).

  • Sample lyrics:

I know you will skip over this,
As you wait for the story to begin –
But listen, Please! And don’t forget
About Jessi’s cocoa colored skin.
And Mallory’s clear braces hide
The potential she has within –
Hey Reader! Come back here! Do not disparage
The chapter that tells of the Schafer-Spier marriage
It’s The Chapter Where We Find Out About Everyone,
Ghostwritten just for you!

Stonybrook’s Divorce Rate: In this selection, the babysitters and their charges mourn the demise of the nuclear family, as evidenced by Stonybrook’s sky-high divorce rate [see Dawn’s mom, Kristy’s parents, the Brewers, most of the charges who weren’t part of the 27-kid Pike family].

Stonybrook’s Divorce Rate, Reprise: The ever-opportunistic BSC celebrates the economic advantages of marital instability in Stonybrook: with so many single-parent households and moms on the dating market, there is an obscene need for babysitters.

Shannon Kilbourne is Boring: As associate member Shannon Kilbourne leaves the BSC to pursue additional college courses (probably with that nerd Janine Kishi, am I right?), the Baby-Sitters Club does not care. Because Shannon Kilbourne is really, really boring.

  • Sample lyrics:

Shannon Kilbourne is Boring
There’s nothing else to say
If Shannon Kilbourne’s a color
Then Shannon Kilbourne is grey
Like the stony halls of S.M.S.
On an empty summer day
No one cares about Shannon Kilbourne
We’d gladly give her away.

She’s our associate member
We call her when we get stuck
But Shannon’s not at our meetings
Cause Shannon Kilbourne sucks
She gives it her best effort, yes
But I still don’t give a fuck
We won’t miss Shannon Kilbourne
Shannon, Good Bye,
Good Luck!
[Shannon shrugs and walks away. She even walks away boring. There is no point to Shannon Kilbourne, and everyone knows it.]

The Diabetes Ballet: In this dance interlude, a dreaming Stacy finds herself stalked by dancing Twinkies, Twix, and Twizzlers that are hidden throughout Claudia’s room. She wakes up having wet the bed. [I can’t be the only person who has that moment in Stacy’s medical history seared in her memory.]

Almond-Shaped Eyes, Broken-Shaped Heart: Claudia mourns Mimi, her grandmother who taught her what love really is.

  • Sample Lyrics:

My earrings are ketchup and mustard bottles,
My leggings are airbrushed with relish
But my themed outfit grows from a sorrow below
Like a Bedazzler that cannot embellish.

My cowboy hat and boots may match
My cactus skirt and bolo tie
But nothing can match the sadness
Of the tears from my almond-shaped eyes.

Bart’s Bashings: After Kristy’s Krushers defeat Bart’s Bashers on the Little League field, Bart delivers his own crushing blow: he breaks up with Kristy due to their “incompatibilities.”

  • Sample Lyrics:

[Bart] Hey Kristy! When I talk to you, I run out of words to say –
Because all you talk about is softball, or the gym pants you bought today,
It’s not that I think you’re annoying – No! I just kinda think that you’re —
[Greek Chorus] SHH!
[Bart, spoken:] Well, you know everyone’s been thinking it…
You act like we’re an item, Kris, but girl, you’re no great thespian,
And those are some clunky boots you’ve got for a girl who’s not an equestrian,
It’s clear from context and subtext that your character’s really a —
[Greek Chorus] Bart! Come on!

Kristy Thomas, Bossy Bitch: The BSC members discuss how Kristy, while a smart and savvy go-getter, is also a controlling teen tyrant:

  • Sample Lyrics:
Someday she’ll be CEO
Someday she’ll be rich,
Some day she’ll set the world alight,
But right now, Kristy’s a bitch!
 
Kristy will someday be the head
Of a multi-national corporation,
And I’ll just say I knew her when
She was the bitchiest teen in the nation!
 
Kristy could run the FBI!
Kristy could be the president!
But in my heart she’ll always be
Stonybrook’s bitchiest resident.

But that’s just a bit of what The Babysitter’s Club: The Musical has to offer! Check some stage very far from Broadway around 2018 or so to hear these other great selections: JK Rowling, Plagiarist (in which the Pikes file suit for copyright infringement because the Weasleys were obviously based on them), Nobody Likes You, Karen Brewer (Gigundoly Bratty remix), BSC Super Special! (it’s exactly like a regular song but longer and with occasional cursive), and I Know He’s Just a Young Adult Character But I’ve Always Felt Like Logan Bruno’s Probably Really Hot. Continue reading

Best of C+S 2013: The Greatness That is Amy Poehler

It’s Day 2 of our ‘Best of’ series, and we bring you our blog’s patron saint, Amy Meredith Poehler. You’ll find her sprinkled all over Cookies + Sangria, so since we could only pick one, we decided on one of the main reasons we love her – she’s not just a celebrity that entertains us and carries on with her daily life – she uses her platform in the public eye to make a difference and inspire. Keep doing yo thang girl. 143 AAF LYLAS.

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Amy Poehler: Sage to All

{originally posted April 24th}

If you know either Molly or I, or have even been reading this blog for a while, you know that we have a special place in our heart for Amy Poehler. So naturally, I follow (read: stalk) everything she does. Amy started a website/YouTube channel a while ago called Smart Girls at the Party, which inspires, encourages, and features young, smart, women. All their featured shows are fantastic (and even involve dance parties!), but one of my favorites on the site (and on the internet) is Ask Amy.

This is a series of short videos in which Amy answers viewer questions, and focuses on one topic per episode. You may have seen the latest episode make its rounds on the internet.

I Love You Boston

As you can tell, she approaches these videos and topics from an honest, earnest place, and genuinely wants to give advice to everyone watching. What’s touching about this particular episode is that Amy, who is a Boston-area native, is clearly fed up with last week’s horrific events, and her downcast and fed up demeanor exemplifies exactly what I’m assuming all of America is feeling right now. And while we may not have all the answers to what’s going on, there is something we can do to prevent from becoming too saturated with the bad things in the world.

Sigh. I love her so much. Here are a few of my favorite episodes, but I suggest you check the whole site out!!

Goodbye
“The only thing we can depend on is change… Life is just a series of moments… a string of pearls that make up the necklace of your life and every once in a while to complete the circle, you need to end a chapter.” (Bonus Abel at the end!!!)

Decisions
“Most decisions aren’t final. Feelings change all the time. You can always change your mind and taking risks and making choices is what makes life so exciting because we never know whats going to happen. Every day something new comes our way. Isn’t that exciting?”

Letting Go

“Let go of the idea of trying… Letting go suddenly is an act of faith and the universe provides for you what is really meant to be.”

Courage

“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it.”

Stress
In which Amy sits in a bathtub and calls herself a crazy person.

Best of C+S 2013: Celebrity Baby Names

We’ve had an amazing first year here at Cookies + Sangria, and we owe a lot of that to the best readers on the internet. As a “thank you” for making Year One so great, we’re closing out 2013 with a few of our favorite posts from the past 12 months. We hope you enjoy the look back, and we’ll see you in 2014 with new content in the new year! Happy Holidays!

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From Axl Jack to North West to more common names like Winnie Rose and Prince George, a bunch of unknowing babies were born to celebrities this year, but since a majority of them tend to pick the weird monikers of the name spectrum, would it really be that weird if any of these words would be made into names?

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Ten Words That Sound Like Celebrity Baby Names

{originally posted February 13th}

A universe without absurd celebrity baby names would be like a universe without circus peanuts. Some people adore them, some people abhor them, but the world would be a little less sweet — yet fully operational — without them.

I have compiled a list of words that sound like celebrity baby names, because that’s just the kind of lady I am. Note that all of these were chosen based on sound and spelling, not meaning.

Update: As of June 2013, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West named their baby North West. Obviously, they’ve taken the “words that sound like celebrity baby names” thing to heart.

  • Rayon (Boy. It will go on to widespread use among commoners. After a few years, a celeb will use it on a girl to be “edgy.” The Internet will be divided about that.) [Ed. note: A not-so-secret secret here at C+S is that we write/queue our posts up to a month in advance. A few weeks after I wrote this, this post appeared: a (non-celeb) Rayon already exists in the UK! I don’t want you all to feel scammed, so I’m adding a bonus eleventh name at the end of the list.]
  • Peplum (Girl. The mother is quirky and British or French. They call her Peppy.)
  • Cavalry (Girl. She will be aptly and unfortunately horse-faced.)
  • Madrina (Girl. The mother will explain that she is “named after my godmother.”)
  • Loafer (Boy. The mom will refer to him as Lo in interviews (in which she never shuts up about him.))
  • Gradient (Boy. It will go on to mass appeal with parents who like Grady but want “something more formal.” These are the same people who name their boys Brentson and Troyton but only ever plan to call them Brent and Troy.)
  • Attaché (Girl. An aging rocker’s child with a much younger woman. They will insist on calling her Che, but she will become Attie once she’s old enough to have opinions.)
  • Avarice (Girl. Looks like Ava + Alice + Beatrice, all of which are already “in” these days. I bet someone somewhere has already done this.)
  • Aril (Unisex. Starts as a boy name but becomes a popular misspelling of Ariel. Aril and Lira become a trendy twin name duo.)
  • Carton (Boy. With Carter, Carson, and names ending in -on as popular as they are, I’m surprised and disappointed that nobody has done this yet.)
  • Answer (Unisex. The parents will already have a kid with a word name, like Ever or Story — believe it or not, there are already 2 celebrity babies with each of those names. Names starting with A are popular, and it starts with Ann, which is a name, so I don’t even think this is too off-base. The parents will have some cheesy explanation for the name, like “She is the answer to our prayers!” or “Whenever he is questioning something, he only has to look to himself for the answer.” )

ICYMI: Pope’s Popping Up in Pop Culture

One of the most highly-regarded journalists of our time is retiring soon, which means this is her final 10 Most Fascinating People of the year list. Tear. Who made it into the history books this year?

Barbara Walters’ 10 Most (Sometimes) Fascinating (-ish) People Of 2013

Barbara Walters has been around a while – she was born the same year as Audrey Hepburn, MLK, Grace Kelly, and Edward Asner, to give you some idea. In that time, she’s formed some opinions about what makes someone fascinating. On the other hand, Barbara Walters is 84 freaking years old so understandably, she’s not always fascinated by the same stuff as us. Hell. When my late grandfather was 84, he referred to a computer as a “dot com machine.”

With that in mind, here are the people who have made Barbara Walters’ 10 Ten Most Fascinating People Of 2013.

Duck Dynasty

Fascinating or Not Fascinating: Fascinating, in the sense that all of them put together add up to one fascinating person.

So, this was recorded before the one Duck guy (Phil?) made really horrible, public homophobic comments, and I like to think that Barbara would have been way less fascinated had she known. It was one of those things where I read about it online, and thought that maybe his words were being misrepresented and tried not to jump to conclusions. Then I read what he said. Holy cow.

Pope Francis

Fascinating or Not Fascinating: Fascinat mihi papum

Well who’d have thought? The leader of the Catholic church has kinder words to say about gay people than the guy from the reality show. I know there’s reason to be cynical but I cannot help but get the warm-fuzzies about Pope Frank – and Walters agrees, apparently.  He tweets, instagrams, has a kind word for everyone, and is challenging the focuses of the world’s largest church. That’s one quality Jesuit, right there.

Jennifer Lawrence

Fascinating or Not Fascinating: Not fascinating, because she’s everyone’s imaginary BFF and your BFFs aren’t fascinating because you know them so well. Okay, you know what, she’s fascinating.

J.Law describes what it’s like being famous – people thinking that you’re suddenly a new you, and there’s something weird in everyone’s eyes, and she just wants a morning where she can walk outside and look at people in the face – and it’s a lot more like the Britney Spears song Lucky than I thought.

Fascinating facts: Jennifer Lawrence can play the oboe and hates cilantro.

~~~

Before Pope Francis made it to Baba Wawa’s list, before he made Time’s Person of the Year, before he even made this post, he was just another member of the high clergy. Remember the time we didn’t have a pope? Those were the days.

~~~

So The Pope Dumped You

So, your Pope has left you. Abdicated. Resigned. Whatever you call it, one day you had a Pope, and the next you didn’t. “I thought we were infallible!,” you say. “Bonds only broken by death! Probably yours, because you’re really, really old!”

I know. I know. It’s hard. The worst breakups are the ones where you never saw coming. In these days adjusting to life without a Pope, I’m here to offer words of support. There are plenty of Cardinals in the sea. It’s not you, it’s him. Or Him. I’m not sure which. Have you ever thought about online church?

Like many ladies who have been dumped, I am turning to the seminal self-help dating guide, He’s Just Not That Into You, and its companion volume, It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken. You may know these books from the Sex and the City tie-in, or more likely, from reading them stealthily in the corner of a bookstore or library while heartbroken. Here is some advice from these books, and how it can help you in these dark, Pope-less days.

  • He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Breaking Up With You

I know you thought you were special to him, but considering he’s leaving you in the dust, Pope Benedict XVI was just not that into you. If he were, he’d be here.

  • He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Disappeared On You

One day, you guys are doing great. The Pope is retweeting your witty Latin retorts and answering all your prayers. Then you notice that he’s suddenly off of Facebook every time you sign on. You text the Pope, and he gets back to you two days later, and is all, “my phone was charging.” Before you know it, every time you try to receive a benediction at St. Peter’s, the Pope is all, “sorry, I have to shepherd to the faithful in Somalia this week.” And you check the news, and the Pope wasn’t even IN Somalia. Sorry, lady — the Pope’s just not that into you.

  • He’s Just not that into you if he’s married (and other insane variations of being unavailable)

This one, along with the chapter “he’s just not that into you if he’s not having sex with you,” really says it all about your relationship with the pope. He’s married to God, or something, and also to the whole Church. You really expect someone who is married to the entire largest religion in the world to be into you? He’s not and I’m sorry.

  • He’s just not that into you if he only wants to see you when he’s drunk

The ONLY time Pope Benedict XVI called you to worship was when he had a chalice of communion wine at the ready. You didn’t feel even a little weird about that?

  • Don’t See Him Or Talk To Him For 60 Days

The best advice I’ve ever received is to cut off contact for a good long while – like, a month or two, at least. Don’t call the pope. Don’t answer his texts. Delete his number if you have to. Block the pope on G-Chat. Unfollow him on Twitter. You need to get that pope out of your head, and the only way to do that is to move on. When that white smoke appears above Vatican City, you don’t want to be all hung up on the old pope. You want to be ready to love again.

  • Get Rid Of His Stuff And The Things That Remind You Of Him

“But this CD has Pope Benedict’s favorite hymn on it!” – No. Stop. Who still has CDs anyway? Are you my dad?
“P.B.16 gave such a great speech on this piece of catechism!” – Put it down. Now.
“But my commemorative Pope Benedict collector’s plate might be worth big money some day!” – No it won’t. We all remember what happened with Beanie Babies.

  • Get Your Ass in Motion Every Day

You can’t just lounge around eating communion wafers all day. First of all, I think that’s church-illegal. Second, it’s just pathetic. Join an activity. Go to church, where the constant sitting and standing is a small-scale aerobic workout. Or stay home if that’s still too fresh and painful for you. Maybe join a book club*. Like eight out of ten book club members are people who have just been through breakups and need a distraction. The other two are new to the city.

* In the interest of full disclosure, sometimes my friends and I have “book club” but that’s just code for watching Dance Moms and drinking wine.

Saturday Spotlight: How Beyonce Stole Christmas

It’s been a little over a week since Beyoncé out-Christmased Christmas. What do I mean? Well, on Christmas morning you wake up to a bunch of wonderful surprises and are surrounded by love and happiness and all that. Waking up to the new Beyoncé album was like that, but better — it’s like if you never knew when Christmas was coming and then one day you’d get out of bed and realize that it had arrived.

So, this week our blog was a little Christmas (and the things that go along with Christmas, like TV hiatuses UGH) and a little Beyoncé, and a little righteous indignation that Barbara Walters thinks she’s less fascinating than Kim Kardashian.

14 Times Beyoncé Proved She Owns Us All

+ Her blatant Benjamin Button-ing.

Like how is this woman getting older yet not aging? I really don’t understand. There are shots in these vids where she looks like she’s a teenager. Even in the Grown Woman video where she and Kelly are recreating home videos, it just looks like she got taller. I need your secrets, oh wise one.

+ Being boss enough to get the best people in the biz to work on the album

List of artists who wrote, produced (or both), directed on this record include but are not limited to: Jay Z (obvs), Justin Timberlake, Miguel, Ryan Tedder, Sia, Drake, Frank Ocean, Pharrell and Timbaland. I’ll just pick those names back up for you.

12 Days of 90s Christmas Episodes

DAY EIGHT

The Adventures Of Pete And Pete – O’ Christmas Pete (1996)

If anyone dares question why us millenials have been flocking to quirky independent comedies since our teen years, I’d point them to The Adventures Of Pete And Pete. Unlike the shiny neon Nickelodeon shows of today, Pete and Pete was decidedly offbeat. This Christmas episode shows what happens when a kid follows the universal desire to keep Christmas going as long as possible. Even as an adult, I still hate that 12/26 slump.

DAY NINE

Seinfeld – The Strike (1997)

My family celebrates Festivus off-and-on. I hold my own in the Airing of Grievances, but the Feats Of Strength didn’t go so well as an 11-year-old girl with two giant older brothers.

How To Cope With TV Hiatuses

If you like:
Scandal
You might like:
The West Wing

Speaking of The West Wing… All 7 seasons are on Netflix, so you have no excuse (unless you don’t have Netflix). Scandal is probably the most difficult show to ween yourself off of, especially if you’re a #Gladiator who live tweets and doesn’t miss a single episode. Not to mention, it doesn’t come back until February 27th! So if you enjoy the political side of Scandal, excellent writing, the invention of the ‘walk and talk’ and most importantly, the never sarcastic Josh Malina/David Rosen, who plays Will Bailey from season 3 on, you’ll certainly enjoy this Emmy-winning series that went off the air seven years ago. Warning: there’s certainly not as much sex on this show – but there’s Rob Lowe and a ‘Will they- Won’t they’ situation between Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) and his assistant Donna Moss (Janel Maloney).

If you like:
Parks and Recreation

You might like:
Brooklyn Nine-Nine

BROOKLYN-NINE-NINE-CAST-570

One name: Mike Schur. If you don’t know who he is and you’re a fan of Parks and Rec and/or The Office, you can revoke your fan privileges right now. Mike used to be a writer on The Office (and also played Dwight’s weird cousin Mose), but left the show to create Parks with Office creator Greg Daniels. Mike decided his one amazing show on NBC wasn’t enough, so he and Dan Goor, also from Parks, created Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The show is hilarious and has the same kind of ensemble quality that both Parks and The Office had. In addition, you can’t go wrong with Andy Samberg as a quirky cop. And don’t forget the fact that both the show and Andy just got nominated for Golden Globes? Congrats Mike Schur.

Barbara Walters’ 10 Most (Sometimes) Fascinating (-ish) People Of 2013

Prince George
Fascinating or Not Fascinating: NOPE. NOT EVEN A LITTLE FASCINATING.

Guys, I watched the royal wedding. I waited with excitement to see if the baby was a boy or a girl, and was pleased that they named him George because that’s adorable. But sorry, he’s not fascinating. He literally poops himself then sits in his own poop. His cultural interests include “watching people wave fingers in front of his face” and his top athletic pursuit is “grabbing his own toes.” The only somewhat fascinating thing about Boy George is that, while my dinner tonight came from a box of Nabsico Saltine crackers, his came from a princess’s boob.

Edward Snowden
Fascinating or Not Fascinating: I’ll never tell.

I’m a little scared to even write about this because they’re watching. Let’s just say that I don’t love the government listening to my phone calls or reading our blog (oh, screw that, we take whatever readers we get and the NSA can follow us with the Facebook and Twitter links on the right sidebar) – but I’m also not really down with national security secrets getting compromised, y’know?

Playlist of the Month: A Very Cookies + Sangria Christmas

Maybe This Christmas – Ron Sexsmith

Anyone out there celebrate Chrismukkah? Anyone out there celebrate Christmukkah because of Seth Cohen? Well we can thank our fave faux Newport Beach resident for bringing that term into our lives, and we can also thank The OC for bringing great songs into our lives. Music was always an integral part of the show, and come Chrismukkah time, it was no different. I’ve been listening to this song ever since it was on one of the holiday eps and it never gets old.

I Wish It Was Christmas Today by Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan

In the 2000 years of Christmas songs, is this really one of the best EVER? If you go by the giddy Christmas-y feeling you get every time it airs on the SNL Christmas episode, maybe it is. The great thing about this song – and I’d say this of the original SNL cast performing Winter Wonderland as well – is that while it somewhat pokes fun at stupid Christmas songs, it does so without being nasty or cynical. It’s pure holiday happiness.

 

Playlist of the Month: A Very Cookies + Sangria Christmas

Can you believe that Christmas is just DAYS away, you guys??? Unless you’re Jewish, or celebrate Kwanzaa or are the Grinch, so this doesn’t really apply to you. For this month’s playlist, the last and final one of 2013, we decided to stick with a traditional theme and go with our favorite holiday songs. I’m sure by now you’ve heard plenty of them on rotation already, but what’s a few more? Happy listening! And Merry Christmas/Happy Belated Hanukkah/Happy Kwanzaa/Happy December to all!!!

Click here to listen to the entire playlist on Spotify!
spotify:user:122917273:playlist:2SiQGCxAAb7WB1jPEf7nU9

Traci’s Picks

If Everyday Could Be Christmas – 98 Degrees

I’m warning y’all now, my portion of the playlist will be pop heavy and seem like a tween in 2000 made it. Mainly because I still feel like I am. I’m starting off with 98 Degrees, because I think this album was overlooked by a lot of people (I don’t blame you), but I think it’s actually their second best album out of anything they’ve ever released. Their strong suit was always their acappella skills, and it’s prominently shown in this song.

(PS: That video is ridic but the only version I could find!)

Maybe This Christmas – Ron Sexsmith

Anyone out there celebrate Chrismukkah? Anyone out there celebrate Christmukkah because of Seth Cohen? Well we can thank our fave faux Newport Beach resident for bringing that term into our lives, and we can also thank The OC for bringing great songs into our lives. Music was always an integral part of the show, and come Chrismukkah time, it was no different. I’ve been listening to this song ever since it was on one of the holiday eps and it never gets old.

Last Christmas – Glee Cast Version

Last Christmas is possibly my favorite modern day holiday song, and obviously many artists have covered it. I opted to choose this song featuring Lea Michele and Cory Monteith. I’ve never been a real hard core fan of the show, but for some reason his death really got to me and still gets me to this day. But it’s nice to know his talent and legacy will live on through the show and its music.

My Only Wish (This Year) – Britney Spears

This song was featured on the Platinum Christmas album which was released in 2000. For those who didn’t grow up listening to this like I did, it featured the biggest names in pop music including my beloved BSB, ‘N Sync, Christina Aguilera, TLC, Monica and more. I personally think this track by Brit Brit is one of her best in general, it’s just so fun and uplifting and you can’t help but dance to it. Speaking of dance to it, my friend and I may or may not have made up a ridiculous dance to this song in college. Private viewings available for a fee.

What Christmas Means to Me – Hanson

Snowed In. Classic Christmas album of the 90s and beyond. Zak sounds like a baby here, but hey, they still sound better than I ever did as a teenager.

*Ed. Note: We usually pick 5 songs each, but I couldn’t decide, so here are two bonus songs for as your Christmas bonus this year 🙂

It’s Christmas Time Again – Backstreet Boys

I like the Backstreet Boys and you can’t stop me from putting them on this list. So suck it. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson

It’s about time KC did a Christmas album and her lead single is reminiscent of Mariah’s All I Want for Christmas is You. Although it’s nowhere near the popularity of MC, Kelly is giving her a run for her money with this jam.

Molly’s Picks

I Wish It Was Christmas Today by Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan

In the 2000 years of Christmas songs, is this really one of the best EVER? If you go by the giddy Christmas-y feeling you get every time it airs on the SNL Christmas episode, maybe it is. The great thing about this song – and I’d say this of the original SNL cast performing Winter Wonderland as well – is that while it somewhat pokes fun at stupid Christmas songs, it does so without being nasty or cynical. It’s pure holiday happiness.

All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey

90s kids know what I’m talking about. If you can, get your hands on All I Want For Christmas Is You (Extra Festive). How can you make this song MORE festive, you may ask? Well,  add some bells and shit and make the beginning of it sound like a song from Beauty And The Beast: The Musical. By the way, of course Ariana Grande has covered this and of course it’s amazing.

Once In Royal David’s City by Sufjan Stevens (cover)

I won’t fill the playlist with them, but my real favorite Christmas songs are all traditional hymns that are a little less common than Silent Night and Adeste Fidelis. So, imagine my delight that Sufjan Stevens has covered Lo How A Rose E’er Blooming, The Friendly Beasts, Once In Royal David’s City, Bring A Torch Jeanette, Isabella, and I Saw Three Ships

The Rebel Jesus by Jackson Browne

Leave it to Jackson Browne to cut through all of the sap and remind us what we message we really should be taking from the Christmas story.

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues

Sometimes you need a Christmas song with lyrics like  “you’re a bum, you’re a punk/ you’re an old slut on junk”.” Besides, I’m making my list first and in the spirit of the holiday, I should probably leave some of the White Christmas/Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas-like classics for my friend.